Review: Dinner Impossible

July 21, 2008 at 1:26 am 13 comments

Tonight Food Network premiered the newly revamped Dinner: Impossible.  Much has been made of former host Robert Irvine’s off-screen actions so now Iron Chef Michael Symon stepped in and the challenge was to visit Wildwood, NJ to cook gourmet boardwalk food for 300 workers in just seven hours.

Symon was fun and still brought the unbelievable imagination-under-fire that made Irvine so fun to watch.  What was missing was the occasional anger-management session that made the previous shows a little hard to watch at times.  My favorite two Symon creations were a gazpacho with vodka that was put through a Margarita machine and served cold in a lemon cup with lobster and then there was the dessert, chocolate covered bacon.  Yes, you read that right.  I was recently talked into trying a gourmet chocolate bar that contained bacon bits and it was surprisingly good.

I like the new host, I liked the challenge, and a really liked the new intro that shows Symon with his Harley in the middle of the dessert.  It adds a little Mad Max edge to the show.  It was the perfect accompaniment to Symon’s mad cap laugh.


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  • 1. Jennifer Cassada  |  July 21, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    This was so fun! I used to live about 2 blocks from the boardwalk and worked with Haroula a few times and it was great to see all of these landmarks on TV. What a great inagural episode for Symon. Everyone did such a great job. Wildwood should be proud….I bet they are!

  • 2. marc  |  July 21, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Hard to believe we were watching the same show, my friend. The show seemed lost to me without Irvine, a sad imitation. Symon is an annoying personality and the bacon and chocolate creation looked like the baby ruth bar Bill Murray rescued from the swimming pool in caddyshack. Sorry, but I won’t be tuning in again.

  • 3. F.  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Don’t think I’ll be seeing the show either. Symon is cool, but not a direct replacement for Irvine.

  • 4. Teri  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Watching that show is a hour of my life wasted. Symon was dry, boring beyond belief. I would rather chew a mouth full of corn starch then watch him again! RIP Dinner Impossible.

  • 5. Kevin Morris  |  July 24, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    That was areally bad re-creation, bye DI

  • 6. Olivia  |  July 25, 2008 at 5:51 am

    Sota like watching Emeril in Hell’s Kitchen, doesn’t fit. If Symon giggles one more time like a lil’ girl, I’ll slap him.

  • 7. Mike  |  August 17, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Just awful! Couldn’t believe this is the best replacement FoodNetwork could find for Irvine! From great show – – to LOSER!

  • 8. Greg Scot  |  August 20, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    I think Irvine presented himself as an egomaniac, and according to his resume’ padding off-screen antics, he was a bit of an anti-social personality as well. I for one love Michael Symon and have been a fan since The Next Iron Chef. He’s charming and very giving; watching him work with his crew is fun and I no longer have to wonder when Irvine is going to make someone feel like s**t. While this choice may not work for everyone, I think choosing Michael Symon is moving the show from elitist to blue-collar, and I for one appreciate it more.

  • 9. Bill  |  August 21, 2008 at 12:56 am

    I won’t be watching this any longer….thought the first ep fell flat.

  • 10. Sandra J. Cripps  |  August 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I’m sorry but just couldn’t get into watching someone other than Robert Irvine on Dinner Impossible. I was not impressed by the new “chef” and now know for sure I will not be watching any further episodes of this show. Besides, I signed the petition to bring Robert Irvine back. Unfortunatley the new show jus didn’t cut it.

  • 11. Jason Hall  |  September 4, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    You can’t replace Robert Irvine as the Dinner Impossible host…it was as if DI was tailored for his personality. Robert displayed a full range of emotions that made the show’s tasks seem very intense and almost actually IMPOSSIBLE. The attitude of Michael Symon is like “Even you at home can fix up a meal for 300 people in 7 hours”

  • 12. darlene  |  September 16, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    OMG! this man (Symon) can not take anything seriously. he makes everything a joke. please, please bring Robert back!

  • 13. SallyJo  |  May 14, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I like Robert before he came back to Dinner Impossible! He used to have a better sense of humor and one of his sous chefs is unbelievably surly since re-joining the Dinner Impossible crew! Someone needs to sit them BOTH down and have a friendly talk with them and tell them both to swallow their pride and get on with their NUMBER ONE priority which is to entertain as well as complete the assignment! Now it’s getting uncomfortable to watch as Robert goes off on one person after another! I mean I was so happy to hear he was coming back but I don’t care much for THIS Robert! I want to see more of the old Robert and Dave or I am going to stop watching this show altogether! Sorry!!


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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."


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